I am a graduate clarinet student and have recently come across a vintage clarinet and I would like to find out more about it. I have been researching every possible place, but this one in particular doesn’t have much readily available information. I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me! Here’s what I know:
The clarinet is in wonderful shape and plays well. The parts, including bell and barrel, are all original and there are no cracks. The A key has been soldered, but everything else is original (except for pads, obviously!). It is a B High pitch clarinet with the “Jean Montour A Paris” brand with the little fly and a symbol underneath, with a “B”. I have not been able to find any serial numbers, but may have overlooked something. I believe that it is grenadilla wood, and the wood looks fabulous! The clarinet could stand to be cleaned a good bit, but that is all superficial and should clean up well.
Reply by Martin Freres Company:
The Jean Montour A Paris is definitely a model manufactured by Martin Freres Paris. We have not ascertained the historical significance or provenance of the Jean Montour name but our research continues.
What we do know is that this model was manufactured in Paris c1900 – 1905, prior to the Gran Prix model. These were not manufactured for export from France, however, Jean Montour instruments are extant across Europe today attesting to how well they were made. JFB Martin also made Oboes and Low clarinets with the Jean Montour name and the Martin Family’s iconic bumblebee stamp is clearly affixed. No serial numbers are know to have been engraved on these models.
Your clarinet was featured in the 1905 Martin Freres Catalog (advertised with the Martin Freres name) which you can see here:http://martinfreres.net/clarinetcatalog/vintage-clarinets/1905-martin-freres-paris-clarinet-catalog/
As far as we are concerned, this clarinet is a priceless piece of history. http://martinfreres.net/clarinetcatalog/how-much-is-my-martin-freres-clarinet-worth/
Because the piece is over 100 years old, we cannot provide a value for resale or for insurance replacement.
Take care of it and enjoy it!
The Martin Freres Company